Division: Minor Sabbat
Other Names: Madron, Autumn Equinox, Harvest Home, Pagan Thanksgiving, Fall Equinox, Second Harvest, Festival of Dionysus, Wine Harvest, Alban Elfed, Cornucopia
Southern Hemisphere Date: March 20-23
Northern Hemisphere Date: September 21
Associated Holiday: Thanksgiving (Second Harvest)
Associated Deities: Mabon, Madron, Persephone, Demeter.
Associated Herbs: Marigold, Sunflowers, Hibiscus, Rose petals, Myrrh.
Associated Stones: Sapphire, lapis lazuli, Amber, Clear quartz, Tigers Eye, Citrine, and yellow agates.
Symbols of Mabon: wine, gourds, pine cones, acorns, grains, corn, apples, pomegranates, vines such as ivy, dried seeds, and horns of plenty.
Foods of Mabon: Breads, nuts, apples, pomegranates, and vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, and onions.
Drinks of Mabon: Wine, Ale and Cider
Incense of Mabon: Autumn Blend-benzoin, myrrh, and sage.
Ritual Oils: Apple Blossom, Hay/Straw, Black Pepper, Patchouly
Colors: of Mabon: Red, orange, russet, maroon, brown, and gold.
Taboos: Passing Burial Sites and not honoring the dead.
Plants: Vines, Ivy, Hazel, Cedar, Hops, Tabacco
Animals: Dogs, Wolves, Stags, Birds of Prey (especially the Blackbird, Owl and Eagle), Salmon and Goat
Mythical Creatures: Gnomes, Sphinx, Minotaurs, and Cyclops
Celebration of: The God now sleeps within the womb of the Goddess.
Mabon (MAY-bon), one of the Lesser Sabbats, is the second harvest festival and is held on the autumn equinox to celebrate the last fruits of the year. Like the Spring Equinox, it is a time of balance between dark and light. At this time we are moving from light to darkness, from warmth to cold, we are gathering the harvest of summer to prepare for the winter months.
This is the second of the three harvest festivals, the ripe grain is being reaped from the fields. Vegetable season is ending and the fall fruits, such as apples, are ready to pick. This is a time to celebrate with feasts and thanksgiving.
An equinox is an astronomical point, and due to the fact that the earth wobbles on its axis slightly, the date may vary by a few days, depending on the year. The autumnal equinox occurs when the sun crosses the equator on its journey southward, during this time we experience a day and a night that are of equal duration. Up until Mabon, the hours of daylight have been greater than the hours from dusk to dawn. But from now on, the reverse takes place.
The Sabbat of Mabon is named for the Child of Light and the son of the Great Mother, Modron. Mabon, the son of Modron, was stolen from his mother only three nights after his birth at the beginning of time. The Great Mother grieved for her son and the world became dark and cold. During her mourning plants withered and died, and the animals, fat from the summer fruits, slept in their caves to protect themselves from the coming winter.
Mabon is eventually found, with the help of the wisdom and memory of the Oldest Animals – the Blackbird, the Stag, the Owl, the Eagle and the Salmon. The battle to release the Child of Light is not an easy one, and will take months to complete. Ever since Mabon was stolen, the seasons of cold and darkness prevail in sync with the grieving Mother Earth, feeling the loss of Her child. Because Modron’s child is imprisoned deep within the earth, the plants and animals of earth slow down and move inward. Mabon is eventually found, although he will not be released until Yule, when the days again begin to grow longer. At Yule, Mabon is reborn as the Child of Promise and the Son of Light.
The Druids call this celebration, Mea’n Fo’mhair, and honor the The Green Man, the God of the Forest, by offering libations to trees. Offerings of ciders, wines, herbs and fertilizer are appropriate at this time. Wiccans celebrate the aging Goddess as she passes from Mother to Crone, and her consort the God as he prepares for death and re-birth.
Mabon is a time of celebration and balance, it is a time to finish the old and to ready ourselves for a period of rest, relaxation, and reflection.
* Celebrate this festival with a feast shared with family or Coven members.
* Private Meditation on the meanings of Mabon.
* Take a walk outside and enjoy the cooling weather.
* Eat a meal of fruits and vegetables of the season.
* Arrange baskets of fresh fruit for friends or family
* Fill a bowl with fruits and leave it as an offering to the gods
* Make a protection charm of hazelnuts strung on red thread
* Hang dried ears of corn on the front door, doorposts, or outside light fixture.
* Fill a basket with pine cones, colorful dried leaves, wheat, acorns, and fallen pine branches and leave it by your door
* Serve a Mabon meal, wine with some sort of soup with carrots, onions, potatoes, radishes, and/or corn
* Collect milkweed pods to decorate at Yuletide and attract the fairies.
* Make wine
* It is a good time to walk the forests, gathering dried plants for use as altar decorations or herbal magic.
* Go to an Autumn Festival.
* Make a witch’s broom.
* Make magic Apple Dolls
* Gather autumn leaves in bright colors.